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Energy Efficient Acquisition and Inferencing for Low Power Physiological Sensing

— filed under:

  • PhD Defenses
When Nov 07, 2011
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where Elliott Room, ENGR IV 53-135
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Zainul Charbiwala

Advisor: Mani Srivastava


Affordable, wearable, embedded, wireless medical sensor systems that enable continuous long term monitoring of physiological signals could revolutionize health care. Realizing this vision demands devices that are small, unobtrusive and low power. Effectively inferring health conditions begins by acquiring physiological signals of interest and decisions made about what signals are acquired, when, where and at what rate affect not only the energy efficiency of the sampling process but also that of downstream components in the signal processing chain.

In this talk, I will illustrate how systemic energy efficiency can be achieved by targeting the signal acquisition process while being cognizant of the overall application objectives. I will describe four major thrusts of my research that span the vertical stack from hardware to algorithms to inferences. First, I demonstrate how prudently duty cycling signal conditioning front-end circuits could increase device lifetime by threefold and data rate by almost fourfold for an electrocardiography monitor. Then, I show how one could further halve the data rate using compressed sensing by exploiting the structure and history of signals for a neural spike recorder. Third, I propose a rate control algorithm for the wireless channel so that the most important
data from the most informative sensors gets delivered for maximum inference quality. Finally, I prove that compressed sensing could improve the robustness of sensor transmissions at low computational cost by viewing it as joint source-channel coding for wireless erasure channels.

Zainul Charbiwala is a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering. He has been at the Networked and Embedded Systems Lab with Prof. Mani Srivastava for the last five years working on various aspects of energy efficiency in low power networked sensing systems. Most recently, Zainul has been working toward making the process of acquiring physiological signals more efficient using compressed sensing and analog circuit techniques.

Zainul received his MTech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2002 and then spent 5 years at Eisodus Networks, a start-up out of the Business Incubator at IITB. As Chief System Arhictect, Zainul was responsible for the architecture of their entire product line of carrier-grade metro Ethernet equipment. Eisodus products were successfully tested at multiple customer locations in 2005 and the company was absorbed into Tejas Networks in 2006.

Zainul is currently a recipient of the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship and has previously been awarded a Dissertation Year Fellowship, a Qualcomm Research Fellowship and a Henry Samueli Fellowship. Zainul has published over 20 research papers and filed 2 patents.

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